May 20, 2009
Since the beginning of the 1990''s, gang culture has been a way of life for so many young people in Columbus.
Gang members in Columbus have been involved with a number of shootings in this city, as well as in West Point and Starkville. Our youths were charged for the recent shooting in West Point and as concerned citizens, we must use our resources to steer our youths from gangs and its culture.
Since the late 80''s we''ve had the existence of such gangs such as the Black Gangster Disciples, Gangster Disciples, Vice Lords, etc. But unfortunately this culture of belonging to these gangs has been passed on from one generation to the next. We should end this cycle or the next generation will inherit this disease.
Gangs are a vehicle toward influencing an ideology that disrupts productivity within our youth. These gang members will find themselves on a road that leads toward non-productivity and into our prison systems.
One gang in particular (BGF) which consists of gang members from the Vice Lords and Gangster Disciples, have found themselves committing violent acts repeatedly. This gang reminds me of another gang that dominated the late 80''s and the early 90''s and that gang was called the GMEN, a gang mostly based on Southside.
The pattern of the BGF gang is strikingly similar to that GMEN gang. Its members committed crimes such as murders, aggravated assaults, and other crimes in our city, and it was the first gang to commit drive-by shootings within our city. One incident associated with this gang was when a 13-year-old member murdered another 16-year-old member of this gang because it was reported that he wanted to leave this gang.
The Southside community was taken aback by this incident but how long did this same community stand idle before this incident occurred? Have we as a community done the same standing idle today with the emerging violence of this BGF gang as we once did with the GMEN gang?
Unfortunately, many within that GMEN gang ended up in our prison system or worse and we''re watching the same thing occur in today''s gangs.
Let''s stop the cycle.
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4. Voice of the people: Jimmy Bonner LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (VOICE@CDISPATCH.COM)
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